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 Post subject: Nemesis Rating K
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:36 pm 
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BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
"NEMESIS"
By J. B. Tilton
email: aramath@isot.com
Rating: PG (for mild language)

* * *

Disclaimer: “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer” and all related characters and events are the property of Josh Whedon, except for those characters specifically created for this story. This is a work of fan fiction and no infringement of copyright is intended.

* * *

Buffy must face a vampire that has killed at least fourteen Slayers. And who doesn’t restrict her victims to just the Slayer but also goes after the Slayer’s family and friends as well.

* * *

ONE

Buffy Summers stood against the headstone of a nearby grave. Holding a sharpened wooden stake in her right hand, she scanned the graveyard for any sight of movement. A single drop of blood trickled from a minor cut on her forehead; a cut that would be totally healed before morning.

He was still here, she knew that. It had been only dumb luck that she had happened across the vampire just before he drained the blood of an unsuspecting young girl. If she had not decided to cut through the cemetery on her way home from the nights’ patrol, evil would have claimed another victim.

Normally, a single vampire wasn’t much of a threat for the Slayer. But this didn’t seem to be any normal vampire. His strength and agility was greater than most vampires. Dispatching this vampire should have taken only seconds. Instead, the fight was still going on after ten minutes.

Suddenly, to her left, she noticed movement behind a tree. The form was indistinct, but she was sure it was the vampire. A light mist filtered through the graveyard obscuring everything beyond a few feet. But Buffy knew she had her prey.

Cautiously, she moved around behind the tree where the vampire lurked. She crouched behind a bush and looked toward the tree. The vampire was still there. Looking around, no doubt trying to find his prey. Buffy gripped the stake all the tighter, and then moved up to the tree.

“Hi there, tall, dark, and scary,” she said. “Looking for me?”

The vampire spun around, not realizing Buffy had gotten behind him. He snarled at her, showing the two fangs protruding from his mouth. He charged at her, intent on draining the life from her.

Buffy was ready for the attack. Deftly, she moved to one side, sticking her foot out, tripping the vampire. He tumbled to the ground unable to stop his forward momentum. As he spun to rise from the ground Buffy struck. She staked the vampire and he vanished into a pile of dust on the ground.

“Well,” she said, “that was a fun evening.”

Pleased with the nights’ work, she strode through the graveyard heading for home. On a hilltop overlooking the graveyard, a woman and two men stood watching the scene below. The two men had the wrinkled brow and fang teeth that showed them to be vampires. The woman, about twenty years old with long flowing black hair, appeared to be human. Her looks were deceiving.

“We should have helped,” demanded one of the men. “The three of us could have taken the Slayer. Now, Lucas is dead.”

“It doesn’t matter,” said the woman. “I’ve learned a great deal about this Slayer. She’s no ordinary Slayer, this one. We’ll have to be careful with her.”

She turned to one of the men.

“Gather some of the locals together,” she ordered. “Bring them to the mausoleum before sunup. We’ll use them to gather the information I’ll need to defeat this Slayer.”

The vampire simply nodded. Obediently, he moved out of the graveyard to locate others of his kind.

“We could have taken her,” repeated the second man.

“I don’t think so, Sebastian,” said the woman. “She defeated Lucas easily enough. Don’t worry, Sebastian. We’ll avenge Lucas’s death. Of that, I promise you.”

Without another word, the woman and male vampire turned and moved toward the mausoleum located in the center of the graveyard.

TWO

The next day, Buffy was at Giles’s house bright and early. He would want to know about last nights’ patrol. And she wanted to know if there was anything special about this vampire or if he was just an unusually strong one.

Xander and Willow were already there, pouring over the tomes and manuals that Giles kept for their research. Willow was cross-referencing their information with additional information she could find on the Internet.

“How was the patrol?” asked Giles, holding a cup of tea.

“Not bad,” responded Buffy. “Only got one vamp, though. But he was unusually tough. Took me ten minutes. But I dusted him.”

“Really?” questioned Giles. “Was there anything unusual about him? Other than his being unusually tough?”

“Nothing that I noticed,” said Buffy. “Except for a tat on his left forearm.”

“A tat?” Giles questioned.

“Yeah, a tattoo,” said Buffy. “It looked like a skull with a snake wrapped around it. Is that enough?

“Perhaps,” said Giles. “Willow, would you see what you can find out, please?”

“Sure,” said Willow. “It should be pretty easy. All I have to do is cross reference tattoos with known. . .”

“Yes, thank you, Willow,” said Giles, cutting her off. Sometimes Willow was a bit more talkative than Giles preferred.

“Sounds like a biker tattoo,” said Xander, looking up from the tome he was reading. “Kind of like the Vampire Hells’ Angels.”

“Xander, the research,” said Giles, annoyance in his voice.

“Right,” said Xander. “Looking for demon stuff. Boy, this is just loads and loads of fun.”

“Xander,” reiterated Giles, his voice rising in volume. Xander quickly engrossed himself in the tome before him.

“Whatcha’ working on?” asked Buffy.

“Giles has us researching something really nasty called a cerebral demon,” Willow said.

“Yes,” said Giles, obviously annoyed that no one seemed to be working. He removed his glasses and began to clean them. “A friend of mine recently called me and said he’d heard that this demon was heading this way. I just thought it might be a good idea if we had some information about it before we had to confront it.”

“Good idea,” said Buffy. “So, what does this cerebral demon do, anyway?”

“According to our research so far,” said Giles, putting his glasses back on, “it appears that this demon doesn’t attack physically. It attacks through a series of mental attacks. Some sort of telepathic attack I would assume. The attacks take place in the victims mind, but they’re totally convinced they are real.”

“Oh,” said Buffy. “That doesn’t sound like any fun.”

“Giles has me looking for charms or spells that will protect you,” said Willow, smiling. “I haven’t found anything yet, but never fear. I’ll find something.”

“Not if you don’t continue your research you won’t,” said Giles, looking at her sternly.

“Look,” said Willow, typing at the keyboard, “this is me, doing research.”

Buffy just smiled. Willow was bubbly, Xander was complaining, and Giles was annoyed about it all. Things were totally normal.

“I think I’ll run to the mall,” said Buffy. “There’s a pair of shoes at one of the stores I’ve been looking at.”

“You really need to be training,” said Giles. “If this demon is heading this direction, you will need to be ready for it.”

“I’ll train,” said Buffy. “This afternoon. Right now, I think I owe myself a trip to the mall. See you all later.”

Buffy practically skipped out of the house while the rest of the crew continued their research into the cerebral demon. Later that afternoon, Buffy kept her promise to train. She and Giles had been working out for nearly an hour before Giles brought up the subject of the vampire she had fought only the night before.

“It seems his name was Lucas Berman,” said Giles. “One of three brothers who always travel together. They all have similar tattoos each being just slightly different from the others.”

“So that means there are two more of them out there,” said Buffy, trying to catch her breath. “If they’re as tough as he was, it’s going to be an interesting couple of nights.”

“Well,” said Giles, “Lucas was arguably the weakest of the three. Mordecai, the middle brother, is a bit stronger. And Sebastian, the eldest, is the strongest. For some reason which no one seems to know, Mordecai has never been known to speak.

“I would imagine that since you’ve killed their brother, the other two would be looking for you. Perhaps you should have company on your patrols for the next few nights.”

“I appreciate the sentiment, Giles,” said Buffy as she toweled the sweat off of her, “but the rest of you aren’t exactly equipped to fight vampires.”

“Yes, well, I was thinking more along the lines of Angel,” said Giles.

“I’ll think about it,” said Buffy. “Angel hasn’t been around much lately.”

“Nevertheless,” said Giles, “you shouldn’t go out alone for the next few nights. These particular vampires aren’t your run of the mill types. One is very dangerous and two can be extremely formidable.”

“Okay, okay,” said Buffy. “I’ll try to get hold of Angel. You might be right. That Lucas was pretty tough. I promise not to go out alone until we’ve taken care of the other two.”

“That’s all I ask,” said Giles. “Now, you’d better get home. I’m sure your mother will have dinner ready soon.”

“You’re right,” said Buffy. “I’d better get going. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“And don’t forget your promise,” said Giles.

“I won’t,” said Buffy. “I’ll get hold of Angel before I go out tonight.”

Giles didn’t say a word. He just smiled as Buffy hurried out to go home.

Unnoticed in the back of the library a maintenance man was changing one of the overhead lights. He looked at the Giles and Buffy as they left the library. Smiling to himself he went back to his work.

THREE

Buffy was unable to contact Angel before going on patrol that night. He wasn’t in any of his usual hangouts and no one seemed to have seen him for a day or two. Still, she was the Slayer. She’d just have to be extra careful tonight.

Giles was busily reading through one of his many books. A past time he thoroughly enjoyed. It was about an hour past sundown when there was a knock at his door. He opened the door to find Angel standing on his doorstep.

“We need to talk,” said Angel, looking around the street. “Right now.”

“It can wait,” said Giles. “Buffy is in need your help right now.”

“There’s no time for that now,” said Angel. “We have to talk and I don’t think you want to do it out here.”

“Angel,” said Giles, “the Berman Brothers are in town. Buffy killed Lucas last night. I’m sure the other two are after her and she needs your protection while she’s on patrol. You should find her as quickly as possible.”

“I know about that already,” said Angel. “But that’s not the worst of it. That’s what we need to talk about. I’ll find Buffy as soon as we’re finished.”

“There’s no time for this,” argued Giles. “If Buffy is on patrol alone, she’s a sitting duck for. . .”

“The Berman Brothers are working for Amanda Walken,” said Angel. “I just found out she’s in town.”

“Come in,” said Giles without argument.

* * *

“Well, for vampires who live over the Hellmouth, they’re pretty pathetic,” said the woman with the black hair. “Still, I suppose they’ll have to do.”

“Who are you calling pathetic?” demanded the largest and most vocal of the six vampires. “You’re just a female. I have half a mind to. . .”

The woman didn’t hesitate. She reached up and grabbed the vampires’ head with both hands, snapping it quickly to the left. There was an audible “crack” as she nearly severed the head from its’ shoulders. Almost instantly the vampire vanished, transforming into dust as its’ body dissolved.

“Now you have no mind at all,” said the woman, smiling. “As for the rest of you, my name is Amanda Walken. I trust you all are aware of who I am. You all work for me, now. Displease me, and the same fate awaits you.”

“Excuse me,” said one rather young looking vampire. He appeared to be no older than fifteen or sixteen. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I was only brought over less than a year ago. I’m afraid no one has told me who you are.”

The woman named Amanda smiled. This very young vampire was visibly afraid of her. Obviously, her object lesson with his more boisterous friend had been effective.

“I’m sure one of your friends will explain who I am,” said Amanda. “All you need to know is that I’m here for a reason. What’s your name?”

“Patrick,” said the vampire. “Patrick McGee.”

“Well, Patrick McGee,” said Amanda, “just do as I tell you and you will have nothing to fear. Now, for the rest of you. I only have one reason for being here. The Slayer. I want to know everything there is to know about her. No matter how trivial it might be. Pass the word to all the others here. Anyone who knows anything about the Slayer is to be brought to me immediately.”

“Uh, excuse me,” said Patrick, “I know about the Slayer.”

“You do?” asked Amanda, smiling. “Well, what can you tell me about her?”

“Her name is Buffy Summers,” said Patrick. “We, uh, went to school together. Before I was turned. I sort of had a crush on her in those days.”

“Buffy Summers,” repeated Amanda. “I see. What else do you know about her?”

“I know she used to live in Los Angeles, I think it was,” continued Patrick. “She had to leave there after burning down her school or something. From what I’ve heard, Sunnydale was about the only school that would take her in.”

“This is very interesting,” said Amanda. “Patrick, I want you to stay here and tell me everything you know about this Buffy Summers. The rest of you get out there and spread the word. I’m here to finish the Slayer once and for all. And anyone who gets in my way will regret it. Now, get out there.”

The four remaining vampires didn’t hesitate. Each turned and nearly ran from the mausoleum. They all knew who Amanda was. And none of them wanted to risk angering her.

“Now, Patrick,” said Amanda, after the others had left, “come over here and sit next to me. And tell me every little bit of information you know about Buffy Summers.”

FOUR

“Okay, so what’s the big deal?” asked Buffy. “It’s another vamp. I say we find here, stake her, then we can go out and party.”

The nights’ patrol had netted exactly zero. Not even a rumor of a vampire running around. Angel had finally made an appearance and convinced Buffy that the vampires weren’t out that night. So Buffy had gone home. The next day, she had received an urgent call from Giles telling her he needed to talk to her immediately.

“It’s much more than that,” said Giles. “This is no ordinary vampire. Amanda Walken is one of the most powerful vampires that’s every existed. And if she’s working with the Berman Brothers’, that makes her even more dangerous.”

“Why not find out where this she vampire is, then we can all go over and torch the place?” Xander asked. “I’ll bring the marshmallows. Whose got the hot dogs?”

“Tell them,” said Angel.

Angel was in even a more somber mood than usual. Buffy had found it strange that Giles and Angel seemed to know something the others didn’t. They often had the same information that the others didn’t have but they usually weren’t hesitant about passing that information on. But there was obviously something the two knew that they weren’t agreeing on whether they should tell Buffy.

“Tell them, Giles,” Angel repeated. “They have a right to know. If you won’t tell them, I will.”

“Tell us what?” demanded Buffy. “Is there something about this Amanda you haven’t told us yet? Come on, Giles, spit it out. If there’s something I can use against her, tell me what it is.”

“It’s not that, exactly,” said Giles. “Amanda Walken was a farm girl in England in the 1500s. When she was 17, she, uh, got the ‘calling’, so to speak. She was very effective, to be sure. One of the most effective that’s ever lived.”

“Effective what?” demanded Buffy, her patience running thin. Clearly, there was something Giles was trying to say without having to actually say it.

“She used to be a Slayer,” interjected Angel. “And, as Giles says, she was one of the best.”

“A Slayer?” questioned Xander. “As in ‘in each generation there is one chosen’? That type of Slayer?”

“Yes,” said Giles uncomfortably. “Amanda became the Slayer in 1522. And, as Angel has intimated, she was quite effective. Then, in 1525, she met a particularly strong vampire. Not much is really known about what happened, actually.

“Amanda and the vampire fought several times. Then, the next thing anyone knew, a new Slayer appeared. Everyone knew what that meant. Amanda had been killed. Her successor was chosen and a new Slayer appeared.”

“But the story doesn’t end there,” continued Angel. “A few days later, the new Slayer was killed. By Amanda. Somehow, for some reason, she decided to become a vampire. And her first kill was her own successor.”

“Whoa,” said Willow. “A Slayer vampire? Who slays Slayers? I’ll bet her Watcher was like really embarrassed.”

“Not for very long,” said Giles. “After killing her Slayer, she killed her Watcher. Then she murdered her entire family, as well as the families of her Watcher and her successor.”

“One nasty vamp,” said Xander. “And no one has been able to stop this queen bitch from Hell?”

“No,” said Giles. “Now you understand why it is so dangerous for you, Buffy. If Amanda is in Sunnydale, there can be only one reason.”

“She’s after me,” said Buffy. “Because I’m the Slayer.”

“Precisely,” said Giles. “Amanda has made a career of sorts killing Slayers. She’s responsible for the deaths of at least 14 Slayers over the past five hundred years.”

“And it’s not just the Slayers she goes after,” said Angel. “She also kills the Slayers’ Watcher, her friends, her family, anyone who’s close to her. None of you are safe. Not until we can put an end to her.”

“Okay,” said Buffy, “we just do as Xander said. Find out where she lives, then we torch the place.”

“It’s not going to be that easy,” said Giles. “Most likely, she’s hold up in some highly protected place. When Amanda comes into an area, she collects local vampires to use as guards and what have you. She’ll be surrounded by an army of undead to protect her.”

“But she’ll go after Buffy herself,” said Angel. “She always makes that kill personally.”

“No problem,” said Buffy. “When she shows up, I’ll just stake her. Problem solved.”

“It’s not going to be that easy,” said Giles.

“Why not?” Buffy asked. “She’s just another vampire. One pointy little stick and it’s all over. I’ll just need a broom and a dustpan.”

“As I said,” said Giles, “she’s no ordinary vampire. She used to be a Slayer. Which means she has not only the power of a vampire, but also the abilities of a Slayer.”

“Which makes her about ten times more dangerous and more powerful than any vampire,” continued Angel.

Buffy just stared at Giles and Angel. She was well aware of how powerful someone would be with both the powers of a vampire and a Slayer. She had just never thought she’d be facing someone like that.

FIVE

Buffy and Angel walked into the school and headed for the library. Giles and the others were already in the library doing more research on Amanda Walken and the Berman Brothers. So far they hadn’t found out any information about where Amanda was hold up. Nor had there been any vampire sightings in the past couple of days. As Buffy rounded a corner in the corridor she nearly collided with one of the maintenance men.

“Oh, sorry,” said Buffy. “Didn’t see you there.”

“No harm done,” said the man who was holding a small black square box in his hand.

The man appeared to be about Giles’ age. His black hair was peppered with bits of gray. He was wearing one of the maintenance uniforms the school maintenance crew wore and it had the name “Ian” stenciled over one pocket.

“A little late for school, isn’t it?” Ian asked.

“Oh, well, we’re doing some research,” Buffy said. “For a, uh, school project.”

“Aren’t you a little old to be in high school?” Ian asked, looking suspiciously at Angel.

“He’s my tutor,” Buffy offered suddenly. “He’s helping me with my history. That’s what the project it. For my history class.”

“I see,” said Ian. “I’ll be locking the doors soon. Just make sure you’re out before then.”

“We will,” Buffy said. “Just need to get some books from the library, that’s all.”

“Okay,” said Ian, smiling. “Nice to have met you.”

“Yeah, you, too,” said Buffy and she and Angel hurried off to the library.

“History tutor?” Angel questioned, smiling slightly at Buffy.

“Well, you do know a lot about history,” Buffy said. “And you do give me information on vampires. So in a way you’re my history tutor.”

“Okay,” said Angel as they hurried to the library.

Ian stood in the corridor watching the two hurrying down the hallway. History tutor, he thought to himself. The girl can think on her feet. That was good. Ian turned and walked up the hallway heading for the light fixture he was working on.

* * *

“This is most unsettling,” Giles said. “Other than what we already know about Amanda Walken and the Berman Brothers we haven’t been able to find out anything else about them.”

“She’ll wait a few days,” Angel said. “She likes to study her prey. When she thinks she’s learned everything she can that’s when she’ll strike.”

“No idea where she might be holding up?” Buffy asked.

“None,” said Giles. “She doesn’t have a set pattern. It’s always different. There’s just no way to predict how she might react this time.”

“Well, at least the vampire activity is down,” Willow said. “That’s good.”

“Only for the moment,” said Angel. “Once she’s finished with Buffy she’ll turn the vampires loose on Sunnydale. And there won’t be anyone to stop them.”

“Hey,” Buffy said. “You talk like I’m already dead. Give me a little credit here.”

“I am,” said Angel. “But I know how Amanda works. When she’s ready she won’t come after you. She’ll get you to come to her. And she’ll have plenty of vampires around to help her. I’m not sure a single slayer will be enough to stand against them.”

“We can help,” Xander said. “It’s not like we’re untried, you know.”

“The last time Amanda took out a Slayer,” Angel said, “she had a dozen vampires with her. And this time she has the Berman Brothers with her as well. Buffy, you saw how dangerous Lucas was. And he was youngest and least powerful of the three. With the other two helping her she’s going to be just that much more dangerous.”

“Okay, so she used to be a Slayer,” said Buffy. “But she’s still a vampire. With all the normal vampire weaknesses I assume?”

“Well, yes,” said Giles. “As far as anyone knows.”

“Except that she’s much stronger than an ordinary vampire,” said Angel. “And much more ruthless. She won’t hesitate to kill anyone who stands in her way. And don’t forget. You aren’t the only one in danger here. Giles, Willow, anyone close to you is in danger. Including your mother.”

“Then we’d better find her and put an end to her fast,” said Buffy. “Just keep up the Nancy Drew routine. Tonight Angel and I will have a look around town. If she’s hold up somewhere there has to be some indication where she is.”

“Just be careful,” said Giles. “Amanda is extremely devious. She’s not likely to be alone.”

“We will,” said Buffy. “You just find out what you can about her. The more information I have the better equipped I’ll be.”

“We’ll find out what we can,” said Giles.

“Great,” said Buffy. “I’d better be getting home. Mom is getting suspicious enough with me staying out so late every night.”

“Just remember what we said,” said Giles. “Don’t underestimate Amanda. She’s more dangerous than any vampire you’ve ever faced.”

“Big baddie, got it,” said Buffy. “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’ll walk you home,” said Angel. “As long as Amanda is in
town you shouldn’t be out alone at night.”

Buffy and Angel left the library as Giles went back to consulting his books again. As the two left the school, Ian was busily locking the doors behind them. He looked at Buffy as they walked across the lawn toward Buffy’s house.

SIX

“Thanks for walking me home,” said Buffy as they stood on her front porch. “I didn’t want to say anything to Giles but this Amanda Walken thing really has me worried.”

“That’s good,” said Angel. “Amanda is as dangerous as we’ve told you. You have to be on your guard every second.”

“Well at least mom is safe while she’s home,” said Buffy. “Amanda can’t enter the house unless mom or I invite her in. I’ll be sure to let her know not to invite anyone in until we get rid of Amanda.”

“How will you do that?” Angel asked.

“I’ll think of something,” said Buffy. “Have you ever met Amanda Walken?”

“Once,” said Angel. “It was just after I became…. It was a long time ago.”

“Not very good memories?” Buffy asked.

“I guess it depends on your point of view,” said Angel. “At that point I was Angelus.”

“Oh, I see,” said Buffy. “Sorry if I brought up any bad memories.”

“Ancient history,” said Angel managing a weak smile. “Nothing to be concerned with now. Now we have to worry about Amanda. She’s definitely planning something. I just wish we knew what it was.”

“Maybe Giles will find out something,” said Buffy. “And Willow is bound to come up with something. She’s very good at that.”

“Yeah, so I’ve noticed,” said Angel. “Look, don’t go out patrolling without me for the next few nights. I’ll meet you here just after sundown. If Amanda attacks with the Berman Brothers you’re going to need help. Not even you can stand up to all of them at the same time.”

“I promise,” said Buffy.

Just then the front door opened and Buffy’s mother stepped out of the house.

“Mom,” said Buffy in surprise.

“Mrs. Summers,” said Angel nervously.

“Buffy, it’s very late,” Joyce said. “Where have you been?”

“Oh, uh, I was at the school library,” said Buffy. “I was, uh, doing some research for my, uh history class.”

“Research?” Joyce asked suspiciously.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Summers,” said Angel. “It’s my fault. I should have made sure she got home earlier.”

“Mom, you remember Angel,” said Buffy.

“Yes,” said Joyce. “Well, you seem to be okay. But you had me worried. Next time at least call.”

“I’ll do that,” said Buffy.

“By the way, have you seen Willow?” Joyce asked.

“No,” said Buffy. “Why?”

“Her mother called earlier,” said Joyce. “Willow didn’t come home. She thought she might be with you.”

“She didn’t come home?” Buffy asked looking nervously at Angel. “When did her mom call?”

“A couple of hours ago,” Joyce said. “She told her mom she was going to be at the school library working on a school assignment. When she didn’t come home she thought the two of you might be together. You seem to spend all of your time together.”

“No, she was at the library earlier but she left before we did,” said Buffy. “Maybe she went over to someone else’s house.”

“Maybe,” said Joyce. “It’s getting late. You need to be getting to bed.”

“Yeah, I’ll be in soon,” said Buffy. “I’m just going to say good night to Angel first.”

“Okay,” said Joyce. “Nice to meet you again, Angel.”

“Me too,” said Angel.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Buffy asked after Joyce had gone back inside. “We need to get out there and find Willow.”

“Calm down,” said Angel. “We don’t know that anything has happened to her. But if Amanda has take Willow she won’t hurt her. At least not right away. She’ll use Willow as bait to get you to come to her.”

“Willow’s my best friend,” said Buffy. “I have to go find her.”

“Look,” said Angel, “if you go out again you mother’s going to get suspicious. Besides we don’t even know where to look. I’ll see if I can find her. But your mom is right. It’s late. You need to get some sleep. You need to be at your best when you go against Amanda.”

“But Willow,” began Buffy.

“Is fine right now,” said Angel. “You know I would never put her in danger. I’ll look around tonight and see what I can find out. Tomorrow we’ll talk to Giles. He might have found out something by then.”

“Okay,” said Buffy. “But tomorrow night we’re going to find Willow before Amanda can do anything to her.”

“Deal,” said Angel. “And don’t worry. You mom might be right. She might have gone over to someone else’s house. Maybe she’s with Xander.”

“Yeah, maybe,” said Buffy, less convinced than she sounded.

“Get some rest,” said Angel. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

Buffy went into the house as Angel headed out across the sleep. She knew she wasn’t going to get much sleep tonight. She was worried about Willow. But Angel was right. It could just be coincidence. Except that Buffy didn’t buy that for an instant.

SEVEN

“Giles,” Buffy called out as she entered the library the next morning. “Giles, we need to talk. Willow didn’t come home last night and I just learned she’s not in school today.”

“I’m afraid Mr. Giles didn’t come in either,” said a man walking out from behind one of the bookcases.

The man was carrying a bulb for one of the overhead lights. Buffy recognized him as the maintenance man she and Angel had run into the night before.

“Summers, isn’t it?” Ian asked. “Buffy Summers.”

“Uh, yeah,” said Buffy. “What do you mean he didn’t come in?”

“The principal said he just didn’t show up,” said Ian. “Perhaps he’s ill.”

“Yeah, maybe,” said Buffy. “Thanks.”

“My pleasure,” said Ian.

Buffy headed out of the library. This couldn’t be coincidence. First Willow and now Giles. Angel and Giles both said that Amanda Walken went after not only the Slayer but also her friends and family. It wasn’t hard to guess what Amanda was up to. She’d take Buffy’s friends captive and use them to lure her to wherever Amanda was.

Buffy had to find Xander and Cordelia. If Amanda hadn’t taken them yet they’d have to be warned. And she might need their help against Amanda. As she walked hurriedly through the halls he saw Harmony walking toward her.

“Harmony,” said Buffy walking up to her, “do you know where Cordelia is?”

“She didn’t come to school today,” said Harmony. “She was supposed to give me a ride to school. I had to ride the bus. How humiliating. Riding a school bus like an ordinary student? My reputation is never going to recover from this.”

“Chill out, Harmony,” said Buffy. “Your reputation is going to be fine.”

“Are you kidding?” Harmony asked. “Do you have any idea what it’s like to be caught riding a bus like I was….”

Buffy wasn’t listening to Harmony. Instead, Buffy was heading on down the hallway. If Cordelia wasn’t in school it could mean only one thing. Amanda had taken her, too. Which left only Xander. And Buffy was very worried that Amanda had gotten to him, too.

By noon Buffy had not been able to find out if Xander was in school or not. She had no idea what his class schedule was and none of his friends had seen him that day. But they also didn’t know if he was in school or not. She headed for the school bench where the Scooby Gang normally spent their lunch hours. If Xander were in school he’d be there on his lunch hour.

The lunch hour passed uneventfully. Buffy waited the entire time but Xander never showed up. Buffy was about to head out when Ian came walking across the yard toward her.

“Well, Miss Summers,” said Ian. “Seems we keep running into each other.”

“Yeah,” said Buffy suspiciously. “You certainly seem to get around.”

“Well, a school this old usually takes a lot of work to keep it up,” said Ian. “Are you okay? You seem worried about something.”

“Oh, nothing really,” said Buffy. “Just a couple of my friends didn’t come to school today.”

“They must be ill,” said Ian. “The flu is beginning to make the rounds, I understand.”

“Yeah, the flu,” said Buffy. “I’d better get going. I don’t want to be late for class.”

“You have a good day,” said Ian, as he walked back toward the school.

Buffy watched Ian as he walked away from her. She didn’t think it was coincidence that he seemed to be around as much as he was. Maybe vampires weren’t the only allies Amanda Walken enlisted in Sunnydale. It was a safe bet that she would also have some human allies to help out during the day when she was forced to stay inside, away from the sun.

But there was nothing she could do about that now. She couldn’t do anything about it in broad daylight with the entire school watching. She’d have to wait until he was alone. He probably knew where Amanda was hiding out. Which meant he would know where her friends were.

Buffy followed Ian into the school. He seemed to be going about his business as if he hadn’t a care in the world. And he didn’t seem to notice her following him. All she had to do was wait until he went into a secluded section of the school. Then she could get the answers from him that she needed. And she knew she wouldn’t have any trouble getting those answer. Her Slayer abilities would prove quite useful in that area.

It was less than an hour later when Buffy lost Ian. He had gone into the gymnasium and she had followed closely behind. When she had entered the gym she saw him exiting through a door on the other side. As she followed him through that door he had simply vanished. There was no sign of him anywhere. She spent the rest of the day looking for him without success.

That night she snuck out of her bedroom window as she had on so many nights in the past. At least her mom was still safe. Amanda hadn’t taken her. Yet. But Buffy was not under any delusions. She knew that when Amanda was finished with Buffy, she’d be going after Joyce as well.

“I think Amanda has the others,” Buffy said to Angel as he came walking across the yard. “None of them were in school today. And I think she might have that Ian fellow working for her, as well. He seems to be around way too much.”

“She has had humans working for her in the past,” said Angel. “I wouldn’t put it past her to have someone watching you during the day.”

“Did you find out anything?” Buffy asked.

“Nothing,” said Angel. “Wherever Amanda is hiding out she hasn’t left any clues.”

“We have to find them,” said Buffy. “If she’s taken the others they can’t be safe for long. We need to know where she’s keeping them.”

As if on cue, Patrick McGee came walking up to them. Buffy and Angel turned to face him. Angel stepped in front of Buffy in a defensive stance.

“Patrick?” Buffy questioned “What are you doing out this time of night?”

“Probably looking for a snack,” said Angel.

“Take it easy,” said Patrick, “I’m just here to deliver a message.”

“What’s going on?” Buffy asked.

“He’s a vampire,” said Angel. “And I’m betting he knows where Amanda is hiding out.”

“Exactly why I’m here,” said Patrick. “She wants to see Buffy. Tonight. She said to tell you she’d be waiting at the mausoleum in the cemetery. Oh, and she said to tell you she also has invited some of your friends to join you.”

“They’d better be okay,” said Buffy.

“They’re fine,” said Patrick. “For now. But if you don’t show up I can’t guarantee how much longer they’ll be safe.”

“Oh, we’re going to show up all right,” said Buffy. “And we’re going to put an end to Amanda once and for all.”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” said Patrick. “You don’t stand a chance against her.”

“I wouldn’t count on that,” said Angel.

“You have no idea how powerful she is,” said Patrick. “And once she’s finished with you all of Sunnydale will be ours for the taking.”

Suddenly Buffy pulled out a wooden stake and staked Patrick. She and Angel watched as Patrick vanished into dust.

“One less vamp to worry about,” said Buffy. “Now, let’s go pay Amanda Walken a visit.”

She and Angel headed off down the street for the cemetery.

EIGHT

“Why didn’t you check the mausoleum?” Buffy asked angel as they headed for the cemetery.

“It was the first place I looked,” said Angel. “Amanda must have moved in there after I checked it.”

“How many do you think she has with her?” Buffy asked.

“No way of telling,” said Angel. “If she has Mordecai and Sebastian with her she might feel she won’t need as many local vampires as she would normally have. But she’s bound to have a few anyway.”

“Let’s just be ready,” said Buffy. “It’s not just our lives at stake here. Willow and the others are at risk too. We can’t afford to make any mistakes here.”

“I know,” said Angel. “Concentrate on taking Amanda out. I’ll handle the rest of them.”

“You can’t handle that many at one time,” said Buffy. “There will be too many of them.”

“Look,” said Angel, “Amanda is controlling them. Once you take her out most of the others will beat a hasty retreat. That should leave just the Berman Brothers for us to deal with. But your main target has to be Amanda.”

“Okay,” said Buffy. “I’ll dust her as quickly as I can. Then we take out the Berman Brothers.”

They entered the cemetery and headed directly for the mausoleum. They both knew they were walking into a trap. They also knew they didn’t have a choice. All of Buffy’s friends were being held by Amanda and they also knew she wouldn’t hesitate to kill them if Buffy didn’t show up. If she hadn’t killed them all ready. Angel seemed to think they were still alive. He said Amanda wouldn’t kill them until she had finished with Buffy.

As they entered the mausoleum they noticed the door to the secret passageway that led underneath it standing about halfway open. Cautiously Buffy moved over to the open doorway and looked inside. She saw the stairs leading down into the passages below.

“Okay, here’s the plan,” she said to Angel. “We go in and start killing vamps. We don’t stop until Amanda Walken is dead.”

“I know another way into those passages,” said Angel. “It will only take me a minute or so to get there. Wait a minute then go down. I’ll be able to come in from the opposite side and maybe surprise them.”

“Good idea,” said Buffy. “Don’t take too long. I’m going to need your help down there.”

Angel left the mausoleum as Buffy waited at the open door. It seemed like an eternity passed before she decided Angel had reached the other entrance he had mentioned. Cautiously she entered the secret passage and headed down the stairs.

She moved through the passage below the cemetery for several minutes. Finally she came to an open door that led to a large room beyond. That’s where Amanda and the others would be. Buffy moved up to the door and looked inside. In the back of the room she could see Willow, Giles, Xander, and Cordelia chained to the back wall each wearing a gag. They were looking around apprehensively.

There was no sign of Angel. Nor could she see Amanda or any of the vampires that were surely waiting inside for her. She edged her way through the door and stood just inside the room. Other than her friends, who all seemed to be trying to tell her something, the room appeared to be empty. Cautiously she stepped into the room.

Suddenly the two remaining Berman Brothers dropped from the ceiling standing next to her. Before she could move they grabbed her, pinning her arms behind her. She struggled against their grip but their strength was incredible. Significantly stronger than any vampire she had encountered previously. She found herself unable to break their grasp.

“Well, well, well,” said Amanda Walken, walking into the room from an adjoining chamber, four more vampires walking in behind her, “so this is the famous Buffy Summers. The Slayer that has all the vampires in Sunnydale hiding in fear. I’m a bit disappointed. I would have expected it would be much harder to catch you. But you just walked in here. Not at all the formidable opponent I’ve been led to believe you are.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about that,” said Buffy. “This is only round one. Like they say. It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings.”

“Yes, that is what they say,” said Amanda. “Of course this isn’t the opera. And you aren’t in much of a position to be making such witty comments. It would take very little to simply snap your neck. No trouble at all.”

“Now who’s not being the formidable opponent you’ve been portrayed as?” Buffy said. “I was led to believe you liked to kill Slayers yourself. In a reasonably fair fight. Not trussed up like some Christmas goose ready for serving.”

“Oh, you were led to believe correctly,” said Amanda. “I have nineteen Slayers to my credit.”

“I was told it was fourteen,” said Buffy. “Padding the ole’ resume are we?”

“Not at all,” said Amanda. “Someone just miscounted, that’s all. But trust me. I haven’t miscounted. It’s nineteen, believe me.”

“Oh, I do,” said Buffy, glancing at the Berman Brothers. “Why not let my friends go? They aren’t a part of this. You have me. That’s what you wanted.”

“Oh, I’m sure they told you about me,” said Amanda. “They are a part of this. They are your friends. Once I’m finished with you they will pay for your interference with my kind. As will your mother. I’m very thorough.”

“So, what are you waiting for?” Buffy asked. “It’s time to dance.”

“Release her,” said Amanda.

The Berman Brothers released Buffy and stepped back a step. Buffy prepared herself for the fight of her life. And the entire time she was wondering what had happened to Angel.

NINE

Before Buffy and Amanda could move one of the vampires behind Amanda cried out in pain and then suddenly turned to dust. As the dust fell to the floor Angel stepped into the room behind the remaining three vampires holding a wooden stake.

“You weren’t going to start the party without me, were you?” Angel asked.

“Angelus,” said Amanda smiling at him, “I heard you had taken up residence in Sunnydale. And working with the Slayer, no less. You really have fallen since you got your soul back, Angelus. I’m very disappointed.”

“It’s Angel now,” said Angel. “And yeah, I’m with the Slayer.”

“My, my,” said Amanda. “I was so hoping the rumors were wrong. Unfortunately I can see they aren’t. You did such good work as Angelus. No vampire was as merciless as you were.”

“None but you,” said Angel.

“True,” said Amanda. “But then, you were never a Slayer. I was. Now I’m not. I do have a reputation to maintain after all.”

“That’s going to end tonight,” said Angel. “Your days of killing Slayers are over. We’re putting an end to it forever.”

“Really, Angel?” said Amanda. “Do you think you can honestly stand against Sebastian, Mordecai, and me all at the same time? Those others you would probably have little trouble with. But we are no ordinary vampires. Surely you know that.”

“Hey, I’m still here,” said Buffy. “Angel isn’t in this alone. And I’d say the odds were just about even. Us against you.”

“You are a fool,” said Amanda. “I have the powers of a vampire and a Slayer. Angel must have told you that. And with Sebastian and Mordecai you don’t hope to stand a chance. One vampire and the Slayer against us? It’s going to be a massacre.”

“Yeah, yours,” said Angel.

“Hardly,” said Amanda. “First I’ll deal with the Slayer. Sebastian, Mordecai. Keep Angel entertained for me. If he’s still alive when I’m finished with the Slayer I’ll deal with him then. After that, we’ll take care of the Slayers’ friends. Then her mother. And then Sunnydale will be ours for the taking. Its’ resident hero will no longer be a threat to us.”

“Bring it on, sister,” said Buffy. “Like I said, it ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings. And right now she’s singing your song.”

“Foolish, foolish, Slayer,” said Amanda. “You’re all the same. You think you’re unbeatable. I thought so, too. I was wrong. There’s always someone bigger or stronger or meaner than you are out there. And you are after all only human. I’m so going to enjoy this.”

Buffy faced off against Amanda as the Berman Brothers moved toward Angel. The remaining three vampires that had come in with Amanda circled around Angel and took up positions behind him. Buffy knew she wouldn’t be able to help Angel once the fighting started. And if they had been ordinary vampires she wouldn’t have been worried about Angel.

But she knew how strong the Berman Brothers were. They were stronger than any four normal vampires. Against both of them Angel would have his hands full. And there were the other three vampires to contend with. If Buffy didn’t finish Amanda quickly they might turn on Giles and the others. Helpless as they were they wouldn’t even be able to defend themselves. And Buffy and Angel would both be too busy fighting to protect them.

Buffy knew this was going to be her most important fight. Not only was her life on the line. Not only was Angels’ existence at stake. The lives of her closest friends hung in the balance. She faced Amanda with the cold determination of the Slayer. She might not win this particular fight. Angel might die protecting her and the others. But Buffy made a silent vow to herself. If she was going to loose this fight she’d take Amanda with her. And as many of the other vampires as she could get before they got to her.

TEN

Suddenly one of the vampires behind Angel screamed out in agony, stiffened slightly, and then suddenly turned to dust. Everyone turned to see what was happening. They all turned to face the door Angel had just come through. A figure in the doorway lowered a crossbow and dropped it to the floor.

“Sorry I’m late,” said Ian, the maintenance man Buffy had met at the school. “I had a little trouble finding the place. Guess my invitation got lost in the mail. Lucky I saw Angel sneaking in. That opening is pretty well hidden from view.”

Another of the vampires behind Angel struck out at Ian. He easily sidestepped the vampire as he pulled a wooden stake out of his coat. Before anyone could react he had staked the vampire and it turned to dust. The third vampire looked around and decided it had had enough. It rushed past Ian and out the door as fast as it could move.

“Who are you?” demanded Amanda.

“Oh, just your typical party crasher,” said Ian. “I just thought I’d stop by for a visit. I’ve been looking forward to it for such a long time.”

“Stay out of this, Ian,” said Buffy. “I don’t know what your deal is but you have no idea what you’re dealing with.”

“Oh, I have an idea,” said Ian. “Besides, I’m not that interested in her. She’s all yours.” He glared at Sebastian. “He’s the one I want.”

“Sebastian,” said Amanda. “Finish this foolish human quickly. We have other matters to attend to.”

“Gladly,” said Sebastian, turning to face Ian.

“Well,” Ian said to Angel, “looks like you get Mordecai. But Sebastian is all mine.”

“You must have a death wish,” said Angel.

“No,” said Ian, glaring back at Sebastian, “just a thirst for vengeance.” He moved into the room and stood in front of Sebastian. “You don’t remember me, do you?”

“Should I?” questioned Sebastian.

“Chicago,” said Ian, “1981. You murdered my sister.”

“And now you’ve come looking for revenge,” said Sebastian. “All you’ll find here is your death, human.”

“Well then,” said Ian. “Shall we dance?”

Without warning Ian struck out hitting Sebastian in the face. The vampire went reeling back, a look of surprise on his face. This human was stronger than he imagined. Sebastian didn’t hesitate. He launched himself at Ian and the two immediately began to fight in earnest.

Buffy took advantage of the momentary distraction and struck out at Amanda. Buffy struck Amanda several times while the she-vampire was busy watching the exchange between Ian and Sebastian. She was forced back on the defensive as Buffy continued to pummel her.

Mordecai had turned to help his brother. He reached out to grab Ian but before he could Angel rushed across the room. He grabbed Mordecai by the collar of his shirt and threw him across the room. Mordecai struck the back wall but was up on his feet in an instant. He turned to face Angel who moved to engage him again.

Ian and Sebastian were exchanging blows. Ian seemed to be weathering the blows nicely. Better than most humans would have. And his speed and dexterity were greater than most humans. He went down several times from Sebastian’s blows but was immediately back on his feet attacking with full fury.

Amanda had recovered her senses and began her own attacks on Buffy. She was relentless. Buffy immediately realized what Giles and Angel had told her was true. Amanda was considerably stronger than your average vampire. And her attacks against Amanda were less than effective. Although she got in several good shots on the vampire, Amanda seemed to weather them without a problem, countering with attacks of her own.

Angel and Mordecai were exchanging blows and it was obvious they were pretty evenly matched. As the six thought, Giles and the other prisoners could do little else but watch. They were securely tied to the back wall and struggle as they might they weren’t able to free themselves. They all watched as the opponents fought knowing that the winners would determine their fates.

Suddenly Sebastian struck Ian several times in succession sending the maintenance man to his knees. Ian fell to the floor and appeared to be dazed. Sebastian grabbed Ian by the collar of his shirt and pulled him up.

“Now you’ll see what happens to people who mess with me,” said Sebastian.

“Oh, but your forgetting one thing,” said Ian.

“What’s that?” asked Sebastian.

Ian raised his right hand and flexed his wrist. Suddenly a wooden stake sprung out from underneath the shirt covering his wrist

“You can’t do anything if you’re dead,” said Ian as he thrust the stake into Sebastian’s chest.

Taken totally by surprise Sebastian was unable to defend himself as Ian thrust the stake into Sebastian’s chest impaling him in the heart. Sebastian screamed and then turned to dust. Ian dropped back to the floor of the mausoleum breathing heavily from the fight. It wasn’t over yet. Sebastian was dead but there was still Mordecai and Amanda to deal with. The decision of this battle had yet to be made.

ELEVEN

Ian hurried over and began untying Giles and the others as Buffy and Angel continued to fight. Angel was holding his own against Mordecai. His vampire strength and constitution allowed him to stand against opponents that most humans weren’t able to face. Even though Mordecai seemed to be stronger than Angel, Angel was a seasoned fighter. He kept pummeling Mordecai taking Mordecai’s attacks in stride.

Buffy wasn’t faring as well. Amanda was no ordinary vampire. She had killed nineteen Slayers. Her strength, speed, and agility were incredible. Buffy was steadily loosing against the she-vampire. Amanda had not escaped unscathed, however. Buffy was, after all, the Slayer. Not some mere human that.

Ian finally finished freeing the others and turned to face the fight. Angel was being forced back by Mordecai as the older vampire pummeled the hero mercilessly. Angel was defending against the attacks and was able to get in some effective hits of his own.

Ian looked around and saw a wooden stake lying on the floor. He rushed over and picked it up then turned to face Angel and Mordecai. Angel feigned to the right and quickly changed direction. As he moved to the left, Mordecai was carried forward by his momentum. Ian raised the stake.

“Angel,” Ian called out.

Angel looked toward Ian for a moment. Ian tossed the stake to Angel. With his vampire speed and dexterity, Angel reached out and grabbed the stake in mid air. As Mordecai gained his feet Angel spun around completely driving the stake into Mordecai’s chest. Mordecai winced in pain, not making a sound, and then suddenly exploded into dust.

Ian rushed over and stood next to Angel. Without asking, Ian reached over and pulled the stake out of Angel’s hand. He turned to move toward Buffy and Amanda who were still fighting. As he took a step, Angel grabbed his arm, holding him back.

“No,” said Angel. “This is her fight.”

“That’s Amanda Walken,” Ian protested.

“I know,” said Angel. “Buffy has to do this herself. Believe me, if you interfere she won’t be happy.”

Ian looked at Angel then over where Buffy and Amanda were fighting. He knew Angel was right. This was more than the Slayer facing another vampire. It was the Slayer facing her ultimate opponent. If Buffy were to remain the frightening force for good that the vampires feared, she would have to prove she could beat Amanda Walken on her own.

Amanda struck Buffy and sent Buffy reeling. Buffy rolled with the punch and was up on her feet in an instant. She struck out at Amanda, striking the she-vampire. Amanda weathered the attack and struck back once again. Buffy ducked and Amanda missed her. Buffy kicked Amanda along the side of the head and Amanda staggered back several steps.

Buffy was breathing hard and was sweating heavily. Amanda was barely winded. She smiled at Buffy and then moved toward Buffy. She struck Buffy several times sending the Slayer reeling. Buffy stood up. There was blood seeping from a cut on her lip. There were also several small bruises on her face. Against Angel’s advice, Ian began to move forward.

“Stay back,” said Buffy. “She’s mine.”

Angel pulled Ian back as the rest stood by watching the fight. They were all concerned for Buffy. She was loosing her fight against Amanda. Amanda struck Buffy again and Buffy fell to the floor. She appeared to be groggy. She raised herself up on arms and Amanda kicked her, knocking Buffy on her back.

Amanda kicked Buffy again and Buffy doubled over in pain. Amanda moved over and grabbed Buffy by the collar of her shirt. She pulled the Slayer partially off the floor and stood over her gloating. Angel and Ian both began to move forward.

“Don’t,” Amanda said, looking at them and holding one hand to Buffy’s throat. Her long painted nails looked more like claws than nails. Angel and Ian stopped short. “She’s going to die, you can’t stop that. But her death can be quick and painless. Or I can slice her throat. Do you have any idea how long it takes to die that way? The agony the victim suffers as her life’s blood spurts out. Save your friends. The Slayer is mine.”

She looked down at Buffy and smiled.

“Now,” said Amanda, “it’s time you became number twenty. A nice even number. And rest assured. Eventually I’ll get your friends, too. Not even the infamous Angelus will be able to stop me.”

Amanda grabbed Buffy’s head and forced it to the side exposing her neck. She lowered her head anticipating the bite that would end Buffy’s life.

TWELVE

Giles and the others were contemplating rushing Amanda. They knew they didn’t stand a chance against Amanda. She was not only a vampire but also a former Slayer. But they might be able to distract her long enough for Angel and Ian to intervene. If they were fast enough they might be able to save Buffy.

But they also knew they would never be fast enough. Amanda’s vampire skills would allow her to strike Buffy before they could get to her. Not even Angel was fast enough to get to Buffy before Amanda cut her throat.

“Hey, bitch,” said Buffy as Amanda drew closer. “You could really use a breath mint, you know that?”

“Feisty to the end aren’t we?” asked Amanda.

“Or, we’re more than that,” said Buffy.

Suddenly Buffy pulled her leg up and reached into her boot. She pulled out her special stake she called “Mr. Pointy”. Before anyone else could move she shoved upwards driving the stake deep into Amanda’s chest.

“You know,” said Buffy as Amanda stared at her in disbelief, “it always surprises me when that little trick actually works.”

Amanda Walken didn’t say a word. She just stared at Buffy for a moment and then turned to dust. The dust collapsed to the floor as Buffy rolled out from underneath Amanda’s remains. She stood up and looked at the pile of dust that had once been this fearsome vampire.

“Well, for all her blustering she really wasn’t that smart, was she?” Buffy asked.

“Buffy, are you okay?” Willow asked as her friends gathered around her.

“Yeah, a little bruised up but otherwise I’m fine,” said Buffy. “She was one tough vamp, that’s for sure. As soon as we started fighting I knew I couldn’t beat her with strength alone. So I had to fake her out. Make her think she was really getting to me.”

“So you weren’t really loosing as badly as it appeared?” questioned Giles.

“Naw,” said Buffy. “I just let her think that. I had to get her off guard. Until I could use Mr. Pointy.”

“Mr. Pointy?” Ian asked. “You named your stake?”

“Sure,” said Buffy. “It’s my lucky stake. And if we’re going to do the question and answer thing I think you have a couple of questions to answer. Like just who the hell are you?”

“My name is Ian Wynn,” said Ian. “As I told Sebastian, I’m originally from Chicago.”

“You said he murdered your sister?” Angel said.

“Yes, he did,” said Ian. “Actually, all three of the Berman Brothers were involved. But Sebastian was the one who actually killed her. She lived just like enough to tell me who had done it. After I buried her I went looking for them. I always seemed to be one step behind them. When I got to Sunnydale and found out they were still here I knew I finally had my chance to get them.”

“Hey guys,” said Xander, looking around, “I don’t want to the pooper of the party here, but do you think we could find someplace else to do the interrogation? This place kind of gives me the creeps.”

“Xander is right,” said Cordelia. “This dank air isn’t doing a thing for my complexion.”

“Miss Summers just saved your lives,” said Ian. “I’d think you’d be a bit more appreciative instead of standing there complaining.”

“Oh, don’t be too hard on her,” said Buffy. “She’s just being the Cordy we all know and love. But they’re right. Willow, your mom thinks you were with me. So if she asks just tell her we had a sleepover at Cordy’s. That way we’ll be covered.”

“Why my house?” protested Cordelia. “If word about that gets out my reputation will be ruined.”

“Relax, Cordelia,” said Buffy. “It’s just for the moms. No one is going to tarnish your reputation.”

“Not any more than it all ready is,” said Xander.

“Giles,” said Buffy, “can you see they get home? Angel and I need to check out the town and make sure the vampires aren’t trying to have a field day with us tied up here.”

“Of course,” said Giles.

“Great,” said Buffy. “Ian. We’ll meet you at the school library in a while. There are still a few questions I have for you.”

“I’m sure you do,” said Ian smiling. “And I look forward to answering them.”

“So,” said Buffy as she and Angel moved through the streets of Sunnydale, “what do you think Ian’s story is?”

“He’s not a vampire,” said Angel. “But the way he was fighting in there. I don’t know. There’s something strange bout him. He stood up to Sebastian better than he should have been able to. Sebastian was the strongest of the three. And I nearly didn’t beat Mordecai.”

“Well,” said Buffy, “it doesn’t look like there are any vamps out right now. They’re probably waiting for Amanda to give them the go ahead. They’re going to be waiting a long time.”

“Somehow they’ll learn what happened,” said Angel. “They always do. But I don’t think we have to worry too much about them tonight. Most vampires won’t go against her and risk making her angry. They’ll wait until they know she’s been killed.”

“Let’s get to the library,” said Buffy. “I’m interested in know who Ian really is. And how he could stand up to a super vamp.”

“I’m with you,” said Angel.

Together the two turned and headed for the school. They knew by the time they got there Giles and Ian would be waiting for them.

THIRTEEN

“Well, it doesn’t look like any vampires are out tonight,” said Buffy as she and Angel entered the school library. “Angel and I think they haven’t found out about Amanda yet. They’re probably laying low until they get orders from her.”

“Yes, well, that’s understandable,” said Giles.

Buffy noticed that everyone but Cordelia was sitting in the library.

“I thought you guys were going home,” Buffy said.

“Are you kidding?” said Xander. “And miss out on our buddy Ian explaining how he can take on a super vamp and win? I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

“Speaking of which,” said Buffy, looking at Ian, “just how is it you can fight a vampire? For that matter, how do you even know they exist? Most people don’t believe in them.”

“As I said,” said Ian, “my name is Ian Wynn and I grew up in Chicago. Until 1981 when Sebastian Berman killed my sister.”

“Yes, you mentioned that,” said Angel. “That doesn’t answer Buffy’s questions.”

“Perhaps Rupert could answer that question,” said Ian. “He is a Watcher, after all.”

“You know about Watchers?” Giles questioned.

“Of course,” said Ian. “I even knew one. His name was Jerry Caan. He lived in Chicago at the same time I did.”

“Yes,” said Giles. “Unfortunately his Slayer was killed. In 1981, I believe it was. Oh my goodness.”

“What is it, Giles?” Buffy asked.

“The Slayer that Caan trained,” said Giles. “Her name was Marlene Wynn. She was your sister?”

“Yes,” said Ian. “My twin sister. She was about twelve minutes older than I was but we were always very close. So close, in fact, that I seemed to have inherited her Slayer abilities as well. That’s how I can hold my own against vampires. While I’m not a Slayer I do have their skills and abilities. Jerry trained both my sister and I.”

“There’s no mention of a twin brother in Caan’s journals,” said Giles.

“He never told anyone,” said Ian. “He said since I wasn’t technically a Slayer the council had no control over me. But we were quite a team, let me tell you. I’d be the ‘helpless’ human victim out in the wrong place at night. When a vampire tried to make me a midnight snack, Marlene would jump in. Then the vampire was in for quite a shock when it was faced with not one but two Slayers, so to speak. We were quite affective.”

“Until 1981,” said Willow. “When your sister was murdered.”

“Yes,” said Ian. “She was on her way home to train when the Berman Brothers suddenly surprised her. Somehow I knew she was in trouble. I went immediately to help her but I was too late.”

“There are documented cases of twins knowing such things,” said Giles. “Probably some sort of psychic or telepathic link because they were both fertilized from the same egg.”

“For Identical twins, yes,” said Ian. “It’s not that way for fraternal twins.”

“Yes, of course,” said Giles.

“Anyway,” said Ian, “I haven’t been in Sunnydale very long. I wasn’t sure where any of the local vampire hangouts were. When I discovered that Buffy was the Slayer I figured she’d know. So I just bided my time. I figured eventually she’d lead me to Sebastian.”

“Just how did you know I was the Slayer?” Buffy asked.

“I sensed it,” said Ian. “I can’t explain it. Somehow I just knew you were the Slayer. I can tell you I was surprised that first night in the hallway when you showed up with a vampire. I couldn’t understand what a Slayer would be doing with a vampire.”

“I have a soul,” said Angel.

“Yes, I learned that,” said Ian. “The infamous Angelus who now goes by Angel and fights his own kind protecting humans.”

“Something like that,” said Angel.

“I knew you were going to meet Amanda tonight,” said Ian. “So I followed you. I knew the Bermans would be with her. I lost you for a while. Then I saw Angel entering that secret doorway. So I just followed him and you know the rest.”

“I’m glad you were there,” said Buffy. “Amanda was everything Angel and Giles said she was. I hope it’s a while before we meet another vampire that powerful.”

“Not to worry,” said Giles. “To the best of my knowledge she’s the only Slayer who became a vampire. So I don’t think you’ll have to worry about another one any time soon.”

“What are you going to do now?” Xander asked Ian. “You dusted Sebastian. Seems like your mission is over.”

“That one is,” said Ian. “Sunnydale isn’t the only place plagued by vampires and other demons. And Buffy can’t be everywhere at


Last edited by NoAzMale on Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:49 am 
Great start to this story! Looks like it got cut off. Can't wait to read the rest! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:46 pm 
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the same time. I can return to Chicago where I'm sure there are vampires roaming around. They're in for quite a shock when I get there."

"I can imagine," said Giles.

"Well, thanks for the help," said Buffy.

"My pleasure," said Ian. "Maybe Marlene will rest a little easier now. Her murderer has been punished and I can settle down and begin to live a reasonably normal life."

"Good luck," said Buffy. "I know the vampires in Chicago are going to have their hands full with you."

"Angel," said Ian, "it's nice to see Buffy has someone like you on her side. From what I've heard you've been a big help to her."

"I do what I can," said Angel.

"Well," said Ian, "I should get going. I only came here to take care of Sebastian. It will be nice to get back home. I'm sure a lot has changed in the last twenty years."

"Most certainly," said Giles.

"If any of you make it to Chicago, be sure to look me up," said Ian.

"We'll do that," said Buffy.

"Well, a male Slayer," said Xander. "Who would have thunk it?"

"Technically he's not a Slayer," said Giles. "There can only be one at a time and that one is always female."

"Yeah, well he's the next best thing," said Buffy. "I wonder if there are any others out there like him? Twins of former Slayers?"

"That's an interesting thought," said Giles. "I shall have to research that."

"Oh, great," said Willow. "Something else to research."

"Don't worry, Will," said Xander. "I'm sure you'll do great. A couple of hours on the Internet and I'm sure you'll find everything you need to know."

"You know," said Giles, "not all information is on that little box. A great deal of it is still contained in books."

"Books?" questioned Xander nervously. "You mean like hours and hours of wading through boring, irrelevant information for hours on end until we find that one piece of information that you usually know all ready?"

"It's hardly that bad," said Giles.

"Just look at it this way, Xander," said Buffy. "It'll keep you out of trouble."

"Yeah," said Xander unenthusiastically. "And out of the social scene as well. Not that I have that much worry about it anyway."

"Don't worry, Xander," said Buffy in her usual upbeat, cheerful tone, "I'll tell you all about it."

"Thanks a lot," said Xander. "Thanks a whole lot."

Angel just smiled as he realized that things were pretty much back to normal.

The End

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2005 7:48 pm 
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Angie wrote:
Great start to this story! Looks like it got cut off. Can't wait to read the rest! :)

Just wanted to say thanks for letting me know about that. For future reference, if it should happen again I'd appreciate it if you'd email me or let Traci know about it so she can let me know. For some reason I don't get notifications of responses to my stories so I have to actually log in and check. And yes, I do check the box that that says to notify me. I had the same problem in EZBoard. Not sure why. But thanks and I hope you like the rest of the story. What there is of it.

Jerry

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"One day we are going to look in our microscope and find outselves staring into God's eye. And the first one to blink is going to loose his testicles." - Peter O'Toole in "Creator"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:59 am 
Great story, Jerry!!! I loved it!!! :) Sure thing about the other. If I see it I'll email ya! :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 1:46 am 
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Quote:
"Books?" questioned Xander nervously. "You mean like hours and hours of wading through boring, irrelevant information for hours on end until we find that one piece of information that you usually know all ready?"

"It's hardly that bad," said Giles.

"Just look at it this way, Xander," said Buffy. "It'll keep you out of trouble."

"Yeah," said Xander unenthusiastically. "And out of the social scene as well. Not that I have that much worry about it anyway."

"Don't worry, Xander," said Buffy in her usual upbeat, cheerful tone, "I'll tell you all about it."

"Thanks a lot," said Xander. "Thanks a whole lot."


:lol That was great! :thumbsup

It occurs to me that maybe some anti-spam program on your computer could be keeping you from getting notifications. Just a thought. There are so many possible reasons, though. I'm no expert. :wink:

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 Post subject: Cute!
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 11:53 am 
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An interesting little story you have here. I wonder why others haven't written slayers turned vampire stories more often. Too bad she didn't go off the Watchers Council and get rid of a few more of the putzes. *chuckle*


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